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Isle of May

The island is best known today as a superb national nature reserve with thousands of pairs of breeding puffins. In earlier times it was an important place of pilgrimage, after St Adrian, first Bishop of St Andrews was murdered here in about 870 AD. The ruins of a chapel, church and priory can still be seen.

The island was the site of Scotland’s first lighthouse built in 1635. Its light came from a coal fire on the top of the tower. This burnt a ton of coal each night and three tons on a windy night. The light it gave was not very bright and the fumes from coal fire could cause other problems. In January 1791, during a severe storm, the light went out and the lighthouse keeper, his wife and five of his children were found asphyxiated.

Day trips from Anstruther Isle of May Cruises

Isle of May

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